Spoilers in Books: A Discussion.

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Dimesdan, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You're never going to get everyone to agree about such things. So you can either give up on any and all efforts to implement a sweeping spoiler rule, or accept an absolute minimum rule.
     
  2. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    That's been precisely my point, though. Not everyone has to agree. The mods run this site. Whatever they decide is what goes. Anyone who doesn't like what they decide can leave.

    --Sran
     
  3. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not arguing with you, honest. Just stating what should be blindingly obvious by now after all these pages of repeating the same arguments.
     
  4. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've been giving this some thought.

    I'd say if a book 2 years old is 'spoiled' for you, that's just tough.

    These threads are for enthusiasts and the majority read the novels soon after release. Six months seems fair with a decent leeway built in.

    If you are over six months behind, put up with spoilers, catch up or stay out of the Literature threads. Otherwise you are expecting everyone to jump through hoops for your benefit.

    I started the relaunch after Destiny reintroduced me to Treklit. After a while I left some of the novels and jumped forward to a point I could catch up from. I missed out Rising Son, Mission Gamma and a few others. I'll read them at some point - I couldn't give a toss about them being spoiled.
     
  5. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    Sounds fair to me. :techman:
     
  6. Deano2099

    Deano2099 Commander Red Shirt

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    It's amazing how simple things are when they're set up just to suit you and people like you isn't it?

    It'd be equally simple (and equally silly) to have a two-year cut-off or a five-year cut-off. Yes, your method is simplest and best if you're happy to exclude most of your potential audience.

    A more sophisticated and sympathetic approach is needed if you want to try and be more inclusive. Notably people having a bit of sensitivity over things.

    Destiny is a great series, well worth reading, and has some killer twists. It's a great place for newcomers to hop on board. But I'd never spoil those twists without marking them, because someone might be coming to this board cold looking into what to pick up. And there's rarely any need to go spoil that stuff.

    I'm not suggesting every little thing be considered a spoiler, I'm not suggesting anything silly like spoiler-tagging threads about book 2 in a thread discussion book 3 (although that's actually the current rule if book 2 is less than six months old, which is all sorts of stupid). Just suggesting there be a 'don't be a prat' rule.

    Yeah I get the message. "Frak off loser, you're not wanted here. Read quicker." That's why I pretty much left.

    Interestingly enough that plus my big backlog of stuff to read has meant I've also pretty much stopped picking up the books too. When you're part of the community, when you engage with the authors, you tend to care more, you pick up to keep the line going and the authors supplied with gin.

    You guys are aware that the line can't survive on just you few elites that can read books within 6 months (or even 1 or 2 years) of publication right? You're aware that by driving us from the community you're effectively killing the line right?

    Because honestly, in a couple of years when they junk and reset the whole shared universe thing (you've seen the writing on the wall), it'll be your fault for attempting to drive away 90% of the audience for those books.
     
  7. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think this is a fallacious argument. If the members of this forum make up even 1% of the total market for TrekLit, it's already doomed.
     
  8. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Don't be a Prat is a good life rule in general, do we really need to formally document it? And if someone decides to ignore it, does a warning on a message board really deter them? We can create rules until it's impossible to interact at all here, but why? And for whatever rule/length of time you choose, there's someone further behind than you, so even when you eventually catch up, you can't discuss the book either...

    First off, you're attempting to paint people in a bad light so you can respond. No one told you that.

    At some point, though, there needs to be a way to discuss things that happened years ago, no? And if you're that far behind, it can't be helped. I've only watched the first few episodes of Dexter, I'm years behind. Doesn't mean that all Dexter threads must be in spoiler code. I either have to avoid them, or go in knowing it'll likely spoil things. that's on ME, not going to put it on everyone else. if i go into a Dexter thread, I get what I get. Even easier here, because you can choose to skip the forum, Dexter threads are in a greater TV forum that has lots of other things I AM current on...

    You're aware that we're a subset within a subset, right? If every person in the LIT forum quit Star Trek tomorrow, the publisher wouldn't even notice.

    And not sure how reading a book within a year or two of release makes anyone elite...

    90%? :lol: Even assuming we represent .001%, the subset you're trying to defend is what? 10% of that? So, a ten-thousandth? The couple people here who have bought multiple copies of a book make up for the like 5 sales they just cost S&S.

    Even then, so what? Enjoyed the books when they were all stand-alone, when they were little mini-series, and now the whole shared universe. As long as we retain quality writers that tell interesting stories, i'm happy...
     
  9. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm the one that mentioned DTI: Watching The Clock in that thread. First, while it is an event that took place within the book, that particular instance was one small thread and while entertaining, doesn't affect the over all story. A fact you would know if you actually read the book.

    Secondly, that book came out in May of 2011. 2 Years, 3 months, and 9 days ago. If you haven't read the book in all that time, what are you waiting for? According to all the hand ringing you've done over spoilers in books, it seems as if you aren't really interested in reading the novels, especially when that particular book was praised as one of the best of 2011. If not THE best book of that year.

    It's been stated quite clearly from TPTB that 6 months is the time limit for using spoiler codes when discussing what happens within the novel. In the example of above, my discussing something that happened in DTI: Watching The Clock openly, after something more major was discussed up thread very openly that happened in a book, talking about something that happened more than two years ago, is not a big deal. Especially since what was discussed from DTI: Watching The Clock had little to do with the over all story except for the fact the character discussed made an appearance .

    It seems to me that the only thing you are doing by beating this dead horse is attempting to suck the joy out of posting at TrekBBS for other people. Here's my advice, if you feel this way about being spoiled for books that are years old, then perhaps you should catch up you reading, and then return to the Lit section. For if you go into a thread marked with SPOILERS then you should already know you take the risk of being spoiled for the book about the thread and any book that came out before it, especially ones that came out more than 6 months ago.

    I think it was very cool to be able to talk to the actual author of DTI: Watching The Clock about something he himself wrote, and have him put what he wrote in context and correct any assumptions I made that were wrong in regards to what happened in his book. In understanding what happened in book A that happened two years ago, it makes what happened in book B that much more enjoyable.
     
  10. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I was blunt, but that is not at all what I meant - I don't post like that.

    Tough just means that's the risk you take, and it's the same for me. I'm not always up to date either, but you've got to draw a line somewhere...
     
  11. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    But for those that have not yet read the book, they don't know that's a small spoiler. It does sound possible to be a big spoiler. You should be looking at thing from the point of view of someone who has not read the book and maybe any of the books following.

    The thing is, we do get people coming here asking what to read/where to start reading. So those people are not caught up. There are people who prefer to read a series in it's entirety whenever possible and maybe The Fall is something they are waiting to be finished before starting it. So while the first book could easily become more then six months old for these people, it's new to them and spoiling book one because you can is just wrong (IMHO).

    The way it's been until the latest book has been that spoiler codes have been used for proper spoilers. So, someone that has been keeping up here would think that would be the same for the latest book. But no, someone had to go and botch that. I know the book's thread has (Spoilers!) in this, but still, I don't feel that revealing a major plot point out in the open is appropriate. As it's been, anytime I've read a big enough spoiler for a new book, it's been at my doing, not because someone doesn't know how to use spoiler codes. And even if we did manage to go past the message's spoiler, others went to let it go out in the open with NO WARNING! That to me is rather rude.

    So please, be careful with spoilers and spoiler codes regardless of a book's age. If you started the thread and big enough spoilers do get loose, go back to your original thread and edit it to say so or get a moderator to do so. Then it won't be an issue. Because as long as the 1st message has not spoilers and does warn that there are spoilers, then you are OK.

    All it takes is two mouse clicks to get to the spoiler dialog.
     
  12. Shane Houston

    Shane Houston Commander Red Shirt

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    You want spoiler dialog? I'll give you one.

    Don't talk to me or anyone else like you're a moderator. Your name is not in green. The only person this is a major issue for is you. I will continue to post like I always have and will do so until told otherwise by someone with a green name.
     
  13. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    And all it takes is no mouse clicks to not look at novel thread. Seriously, shut the hell up already!

    --Sran
     
  14. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I think most people here are intelligent enough not to post spoilers without warning in a thread asking about reading something, or if the OP has made it clear they have not read all of the book. I've been here for a while now, and other than the occaisional mistake I don't remember coming across any cases of someone just purposefully posting spoilers. It might have happened, but not often enough for me to remember, which means it probably it's even common enough to be that it would call for a change in spoiler policy.
    Honestly, I'm behind by at least a year or too (the most recent book I have read is Raise the Dawn) and I am aware of the presence of spoilers, and I don't care about them. But I really don't see where it would be that hard to remain relatively spoiler free if I wanted to be. If you want to avoid spoilers you just need to be careful and watch what threads you go into.
    Everyone else shouldn't have to worry about a small handful of us who aren't caught up. You just have to realize that spoilers are a possibility if you are going to come to a place like this. It's ridiculous to expect everyone to code everything about a 6m old + book just in case someone in the thread hasn't read the book being discussed yet.
    Now if the book is less than 6 months old, then yes anything mentioned outside of the spoiler thread should be coded, but after that then people just need to be careful.
     
  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    The Mods have probably fixed it before you enter the thread. People are fast to use the "Report" icon.

    There have certainly been a few incidents over the years, in which someone mentions they have yet to read a certain older book, and is it worth reading, and people jump in and spill all the contents, then defend themselves by saying that it's "an old book".

    Of course, for those of us who've already read the book, such an incident doesn't cause personal concern, and it barely hits our radar.
     
  16. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Sran - I don't want this to start getting personal. Disagree with the opinion, but don't shut down the person. Thanks!
     
  17. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Well that's just unpleasant behaviour, and definitely against the rules of how we handle spoilers.

    To be clear, if someone starts a thread and says they haven't read a particular book and asks opinions on it, then within that thread that book needs to be spoiler coded - doesn't matter how old it is.
     
  18. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    I'm very behind on my Trek novels and I've had no problems avoiding spoilers other than the one already mentioned in this thread.

    I think most here are very considerate when posting spoilers.
     
  19. Deano2099

    Deano2099 Commander Red Shirt

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    Exactly, which is why I think setting any sort of time limit is silly. What rules would I implement:

    1) If a thread has the name of a novel and SPOILERS, it means spoilers for that book and any directly preceding it in that series.

    2) Any significant spoilers for other books should be spoiler tagged. If it becomes obvious that some books are closely connected, then the *first* person that has to spoil a book puts it in spoiler code and puts a note "Okay, it's clear this is linked to Immortal Coil, so there will be spoilers for that forthcoming" - at that point, no-one else needs to spoiler tag, as there's been a chance for people to stop reading.

    3) A thread that is started with a generic name and SPOILERS can contain un-tagged spoilers for anything regardless of publication date.

    4) A thread with a generic name and no SPOILER tag should have major spoilers tagged regardless of publication date, UNLESS the original poster says in the first post "there's going to be spoilers for X, Y and Z here.

    To be honest, that's basically how it used to be without any policing anyway. My problem with this formal 6 month policy (and I'm not sure where that came from) is that previously, if someone spoiled something big, someone would report the post and a mod could drop a note to the user asking them not to do that and spoiler code that out. It seems that now this won't happen, as it isn't breaking the rules - and I remember seeing a mod defense of having a certain DS9 spoiler in a thread title, which is when I gave up on the board.

    The majority of people here are capable of just being sensible and considerate about this, but there's a couple, some on this thread, that have made it quite clear that they'll only do something when told to by a mod, and if the mod says you can spoil with impunity anything older than six months, then they'll jolly well do that and who the hell are you to ask them to do otherwise.
     
  20. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    It came about because some people complained when I said we needed spoiler codes when we did need spoiler codes. It would have been polite to just apologize, go back, add the spoiler codes and move on. But they had to complain and now we have this silly six month rule which for a lot of people is way too short a time. (IMHO), I'd stick with use spoiler codes and forgot a time limit.

    We used to have politeness in that big/major spoilers were tagged and rightly so. Now we have people who come here and use the excuse that they don't know how to use spoiler codes so spoilers be darned. That's how a major spoiler for Revelation and Dust came into being. Then once that got out, others decided to also spoil that same spoiler in case anyone happened to miss it. I know the thread says (Spoilers!), but history has shown that spoilers of any magnitude were in spoiler codes for new books.

    If this is the way it's going to be from now on, I do think a lot of people won't be coming to read about the new books until they've finished reading. I like reading that people are looking forward to reading the new book. But if you go into the thread and get spoiled outright because someone is too lazy (or rude) to use spoiler codes, that sort of thing won't happen.

    Please, don't spoil when you don't have to. Use spoiler codes. Be friendly to the next person reading that thread that may not have read that book or read to the part yet. Also, please don't make thread topics that are spoilery as that is not possible to not read other then not coming here.